Published: April 8, 2024 By

Zoya Popovic
Zoya Popovic

Distinguished Professor Zoya Popovic is among 162 inventors named 2023 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election as a fellow in the academy is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

Popovic, a leading researcher in high-efficiency, low-noise microwave and RF engineering, was elected for her “prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

“Our patents and patent applications cover a broad range of topics such as medical sensors, quantum measurements, communication electronics, radar electronics and waste-to-fuel conversion,” said Popovic. 

One of her recent patents measures internal body temperature through a thermometer that is non-invasive and wearable. Other patents Popovic has developed harness ambient radio frequencies to charge batteries or power vehicles wirelessly.  

“One of the reasons for such a diverse set of applications is that our research is in applied electromagnetics, which is one of the foundations of electrical engineering,” said Popovic. “Understanding true fundamental electromagnetics is a very powerful and practical tool.”

Popovic, Distinguished Professor and Lockheed Martin Endowed Chair in RF Engineering, is a recipient of the 2001 Hewlett-Packard and American Society for Engineering Education Terman Medal for combined teaching and research excellence. She was the first woman to receive the International Radio Science Union (URSI) Issac Koga Gold Medal and also a member of the National Academy of Engineering. 

“My goal is to transfer my knowledge to all my students enabling them to benefit from our excellent engineering programs at CU Boulder and continue to contribute as experts throughout their careers,” she said. 

The NAI Fellow program has 1,898 fellow worldwide representing more than 300 universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes.